Japan-Australia Joint Press Announcement
October 22, 2022
I would like to express my condolences for the devastation caused by the huge disaster in the East Coast of Australia. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to those who lost their lives in the disaster, and my heartfelt sympathy to all those affected by the disaster. I hope that the efforts of many people will bring about a speedy recovery as soon as possible.
I very much appreciate the kind invitation Anthony extended to me to visit this beautiful city of Perth. Perth is a city which symbolizes the history of Japan and Australia laying the cornerstone of our bilateral relations, starting with trade in iron ore.
First, upon the passing of former Prime Minister Abe this past July, we were shown extraordinary consideration by the Australian people through messages of condolences, illumination events in various locations, and more. Then, at last month's state funeral, Anthony and three former Australian prime ministers were in attendance. I wish to express my sincere appreciation for all this, on behalf of the Japanese people.
Today, prior to our summit meeting, Anthony and I had a one-to-one discussion. Our talks covered security and defense cooperation, partnership towards realizing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, and cooperation in the field of resources and energy. In light of such unprecedented close ties between Japan and Australia, we agreed in our recognition of the Japan-Australia "Special Strategic Partnership" as having entered a new dimension.
One of the most significant outcomes of this visit is that Anthony and I signed a new Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation just now. In a strategic environment that is becoming increasingly severe, Japan and Australia, which share fundamental values and strategic interests, have expanded our security and defense cooperation as we prepare a cooperative framework in intelligence, logistics, and operational aspects.
Taking the position of this steadfast foundation, our new Declaration serves as a compass indicating the direction for our security and defense cooperation over the next decade. Its enhanced contents deepen our security and defense cooperation further, also including confirmation of consultations and consideration of responses regarding contingencies that have the potential to impact our interests in terms of regional security.
During our talks, I also expressed my determination to consider all necessary possible options for our national defense, including so-called counterstrike capabilities, and to fundamentally reinforce Japan's defense capabilities within the next five years, and Anthony indicated his support for this.
In addition, we agreed once again that, as the core of a partnership of like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific region, Japan and Australia will make use of Japan-Australia-India-U.S., Japan-Australia-U.S., and other initiatives in a multi-layered fashion and drive efforts towards the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. I expressed my strong support and cooperation for next year's Japan-Australia-India-U.S. (Quad) Leaders' Meeting, which Anthony will host.
Moreover, we had in-depth discussions on, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine, North Korea continuing its provocative acts, the increasingly severe East China and South China Seas, peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, assistance for Pacific Island countries, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The shared recognition that emerged between us is indicated in the Joint Statement.
Anthony and I are also deeply committed to nuclear disarmament. Russia's recent suggestion of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine is an extremely disturbing situation. Russia's intimidating remarks about nuclear weapons are a grave threat to the peace and security of the international community and are absolutely unacceptable. Needless to say, the use of such weapons also cannot be allowed under any circumstances. We must not allow the 77 years since atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the history of nuclear weapons not being used—to be made light of. Should nuclear weapons be used by some chance, their use would be a hostile act against all humanity. I stress once more that the international community cannot under any circumstances tolerate such behavior.
Australia is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal, and other kinds of energy to Japan, and above all, Western Australia is of the utmost importance to Japan's energy security. Against the backdrop of the Ukraine situation causing resource and energy security to rise in importance, Anthony and I agreed to further develop Japan-Australia cooperation in this area.
As one part of that, the field of decarbonization is one of the frontier areas of Japan-Australia economic cooperation. Notably within that field, numerous related projects on hydrogen, ammonia, critical minerals, and more are progressing as bilateral endeavors, which I welcome.
The stable supply of critical minerals is also on the agenda for cooperation we should engage in strategically among like-minded countries. I look forward to the Japan-Australia "Critical Minerals Partnership," which was signed earlier, and other cooperative initiatives leading to the further strengthening of our relations in this field.
Reinforcing the "Special Strategic Partnership" between Japan and Australia will serve an important role in the peace and stability of not only our two countries, but also the region, and indeed, the international community as a whole. From that perspective, I have redoubled my determination to work hand-in-hand with Anthony to make the important connection of Japan-Australia ties even more resilient in the future.
Finally, I am truly delighted that friendships among members of the public in our two countries are growing stronger all the time. Beginning this month, Japan has relaxed its entry restrictions, and we have also resumed measures for visa-free travel for visitors from various countries, including Australia. I very much hope that Australians visit Japan and enjoy themselves to their hearts' content, exploring Japan's wintertime culinary offerings, skiing on our beautiful snow-covered mountains, and so on. Thank you very much.